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Best Buy founder offers to buy company, take it private

  • FILE - This Tuesday, Aug. 14, 2001 file photo shows Richard Schulze following a news conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. Best Buy founder Schulze said Monday, Aug. 6, 2012, that he wants to take the electronics retailer private by buying up all of its shares he doesn't already own in a deal that values the company at as much as $8.84 billion. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chuck Stoody, File)

NEW YORK — Best Buy's co-founder is looking to make a buy of his own, offering to take the electronics seller private only months after leaving as the company's chairman.

Best Buy said it would consider the offer but called it "highly conditional." And analysts are skeptical that former Chairman Richard Schulze's opening offer of $24 to $26 per share would get a deal done and that it could be tricky to line up investment firms to help pay for it.

It's the latest twist in the Minneapolis company's struggles to stay relevant as more people buy electronics online. Over the past year, it has announced a major restructuring plan and fired CEO Brian Dunn amid allegations that he had an inappropriate relationship with a female employee.

Best Buy is trying to avoid the fate of its rival Circuit City, which went bankrupt in 2009, partly because of changing shopper habits.

The offer values the company at as much as $8.84 billion. Schulze already has 20.1 percent of the stock in the company, so paying for the rest of shares would mean coming up with about $6.9 billion.


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